Most oneworld airlines operate out of Terminal 3 in London Heathrow airport (LHR). For those traveling in Business or First Class, or those holding oneworld statuses, there used to be nice array of choices. You could use the British Airways First and Galleries lounge, or the American Airlines Admirals Club and Flagship Lounge. Personally, I took every opportunity I had to duck into the Cathay Pacific lounge for quick bowl of noodles.
However, last November, Cathay Pacific closed down their lounge at Terminal 3 for renovation. The project was initially only going to take 6 – 7 months, but the “scheduled opening date” had been pushed back month after month. Well, it looks like Cathay Pacific’s Business and First Class lounge in London is now open, as of November 28,2016! This is just a soft opening, with the official ribbon cutting slated for December 7, 2016.
The photos of the lounge look absolutely gorgeous.
The renovated lounge shares many of the same design languages as Cathay Pacific’s new lounges in Hong Kong, like The Pier. And that’s an awesome thing. The First Class section will have table service, with made-to-order dishes. The Business Class area will sport Cathay’s famous noodle bar, a full bar service, as well as a new “Food Hall” with a buffet dining option.
Seemingly to accompany the soft opening of this new lounge, Cathay Pacific even uploaded a video to showcase their lounges around the world. Cathay Pacific has been renovating lounges around the world, with the goal of making them feel more “at home,” and I think they are nailing it. These new lounges feel much more residential than most other lounges, and for me, a good bowl of noodles always makes me feel at home too.
Cathay Pacific operates the Hong Kong (HKG) – London (LHR) route almost like a shuttle, so Cathay flyers are sure to be happy about this. But oneworld flyers can benefit too.
One of the nice things about oneworld is that they grant First Class Lounge access to top-tier (Emerald) elite members. This means an American Airlines Executive Platinum flying from London to New York will have access to the First Class lounge in London, even if they are flying coach on American metal. Of course, I have had lounges deny access to partner airline flyers before (ahem British Airways Lounge in Chicago O’Hare). But that hasn’t really been a problem with Cathay Pacific in the past, and hopefully that won’t change here.
It’s worth noting that Qantas is also building their own lounge at Terminal 3, which is due to open early 2017. The press images of the mock-up of the lounge look really good, and will likely make Qantas flyers very happy. Interestingly, their website does not list oneworld elite members as eligible passengers for access to this lounge. Judging by the debacle that Qantas had regarding lounge access in their Los Angeles location, I will be interested to see what the access policy is in practice.
Will you be visiting Cathay Pacific’s new First and Business Class lounge in London Heathrow?